Top 10 strategic IoT trends
From connected appliances to smart cities, IoT is set to reshape our daily lives and, according to Gartner, these are the top Internet of Things technology trends that we need to watch out for through to 2023.
10 | Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Gartner forecasts that 14.2bn connected things will be in use in 2019 which means that we’ll have reams of data at our fingertips. With the addition of artificial intelligence (AI), the opportunities for this data are endless. CIOs should prepare to take advantage of AI in their IoT strategies. “As the Internet of Things continues to expand, the quantity of data collected is soaring. We should therefore ask ourselves how we can use AI and machine learning to make sense of it all,” says Maurizio Canton, CTO EMEA, TIBCO Software. “A sea of data, when combined with AI, presents significant potential for making an impact, in particular by empowering businesses to take control of a messy and disparate data landscape and by moving some of the business processes computing to the edge.”
9 | Social, Legal and Ethical IoT
As IoT becomes more ingrained in our day-to-day lives, the ethical, legal and social issues surrounding this technology are set to become more important than ever. From ownership of data to algorithm bias, businesses need to be cautious of the dilemmas surrounding IoT. To tackle this, CIOs must educate themselves and their teams. They should also consider forming ethics councils or having key algorithms and AI systems reviewed by external consultants. Mark Blunden, partner and Head of the Commercial & Technology group at Boyes Turner also highlights how “legal assumptions around intellectual property rights begin to break down once the IoT becomes sufficiently independent of any human input. It is not clear, for example, whether copyright can subsist in AI generated works.”
8 | Infonomics and Data
Many people say data is an asset but ‘infonomics’ takes this one step further by actually valuing it and treating it as one. Whilst many people plan to sell the data collected by their products and services, infonomics stresses how we should also see data as a strategic business asset that should be recorded in company accounts. Recognising this value, George Slawek, CEO, Cyberus Labs, says that security is pivotal. “As the number of IoT devices grows exponentially so does the need to create ‘self-healing’ systems for device maintenance and replacement using accurate and real-time device data,” he says. “Monetisation and cybersecurity become two sides of the same coin."
7 | The Shift from Intelligent Edge to Intelligent Mesh
We’ve recently seen an industry shift towards edge architectures, but Gartner highlights how mesh networks will soon become an essential ingredient for any IoT platform, enabling more flexible, intelligent and responsive IoT systems. “A new networking design pattern, called service mesh, is designed to keep pace with modern applications,” explains Ranga Rajagopalan, Co-founder and CTO of Avi Networks. “It is a persistent communication fabric that provides the consistent features that span across data centres and clouds to ensure network performance, visibility, and security. Service mesh technology is the critical next step in realising IoT, but I also believe that service mesh will eventually become the networking services delivery method of choice for all new and existing applications."
6 | IoT Governance
It’s no surprise that governance is set to become an important consideration when it comes to IoT. Governance may include tasks such as device audits and firmware updates, so CIOs should be prepared to tackle these important responsibilities. “A significant amount of IoT data has to do with human activity: sensors are used to track people, their activities and habits. But we need to think seriously about whether this collection and analysis of data infringes on people’s human rights,” adds Mas Tanaka, Chief Strategy Officer for Uhuru. “Since the EU’s GDPR data rules came into force, for example, use of this information has been restricted, especially in Europe. To help solve this problem, we need to formalise universal IoT data standards to ensure that corporations and public bodies are not infringing people’s human rights.”
5 | Sensor Innovation
Whether gathering data about temperature and humidity or vibrations and pressure, sensors are a fundamental building block of IoT systems. CIOs should also remain vigilant about new sensor innovations that could offer additional business value.
4 | Trusted Hardware and Operating System
From industrial IoT to connected cars and wearable technology, the possibilities for IoT are endless – but so are the risks. As more and more devices are interconnected, vulnerabilities can emerge. For CIOs today, creating more trustworthy and secure IoT systems should be of the utmost importance says Dermot O’Connell, Dell EMC’s VP & GM, OEM and IoT Solutions, EMEA. “The Internet of Things is really only useful if the data it carries is protected,” he says. “Businesses that want to deliver an innovative IoT service must think holistically about the modern security challenges they face, and connect IT and security teams together to ensure an efficient and secure project management process.”
3 | Novel IoT User Experiences
Building an intuitive, user-friendly system is easier said than done, but when designing an IoT system the challenge increases tenfold. With multiple devices, work flows and data streams, creating an intuitive and seamless IoT system is no easy task. However, by adopting new technologies and perspectives, CIOs can ensure that they create IoT experiences which are smooth and which encourage usage and retention.
2 | Silicon Chip Innovation
IoT endpoints often use conventional processor chips but these often aren’t well equipped to deal with complex tasks. “Humans typing on a keyboard generate a relatively small amount of data. By contrast self-driving cars, 5G phones, and other smart devices generate huge amounts of data,” Kevin Deierling, VP of Marketing at Mellanox explains. “The existing ‘embedded processors’ are not equipped to deal with these IoT devices from either a throughput or latency perspective. To address these limitations, there is tremendous interest in the new generation of SmartNICs, System on a Chip (SOC), and intelligent networking devices for edge and IOT applications.” Looking forward, CIOs should be aware of up-and-coming silicon chip innovations that will allow them to use IoT to its full potential.
1 | New Wireless Networking Technologies for IoT
When selecting IoT networking technologies there are lots of variables to consider including power consumption, bandwidth, latency or the quality of the service. CIOs should be on the lookout for new IoT networking technologies which offer choice and flexibility. For example, Martin Jones, managing director at LAN3, highlights how the new Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ax, will allow for a diversity of connected devices and a smooth user experience. “The changes that this new standard brings will completely revolutionise the way Wi-Fi networks work by leveraging technology which will dramatically improve capacity, provide better coverage, and even reduce congestion,” he says. “All of this will allow a far superior user experience – it is Wi-Fi for the modern world. This new standard will be perfect for enabling IoT as it offers the necessary data rate, range, power consumption, security and scale. Its new features will make Wi-Fi far more attractive choice for connecting IoT devices in the enterprise.”